About the Author

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek is Executive Editor of Mind, Mood, & Memory, a monthly publication sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that focuses on the latest developments in mental health. Her regular interviews with outstanding Harvard researchers and medical experts have covered a variety of topics associated with the brain, including mood disorders such as depression, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, nutrition, mental stimulation, the brain benefits of exercise, and more. Jimison Vitek is an experienced journalist who has focused on health issues for a variety of publications, including major national newspapers. Over the years, her writing and editing career has encompassed projects ranging from reporting for national health agencies and pharmaceutical companies to authoring a diet book and documenting the progress of innovative programs for the New York City criminal justice and social service systems.

Articles by Susan Jimison Vitek

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Aging Diseases that Affect the Brain

Many diseases that grow more common with age are associated with deterioration in brain health and cognitive decline, warns Deborah Blacker, MD, ScD, director of the Gerontology Research Unit in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“That’s why it’s important to get

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Four Brain Exercises to Increase Processing Speed

Just a few hours spent engaging in exercises that teach the aging brain to increase processing speed—the ability to attend to and respond to incoming information—appear to dramatically reduce an older adult’s vulnerability to dementia, new research suggests. A slowing of processing speed often accounts for age-related brain decline.

Scientists recruited

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Easing the Burden of Living with Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious challenge that requires professional treatment (see What You Can Do). It often takes time and patience to overcome. However, while there are no simple cures for this mood disorder, an MGH expert points out that there are commonsense steps you can take that

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Powerful RX for Aging and Mental Decline: Exercise!

Researchers have provided yet more evidence for the benefits of exercise with two new studies that suggest regular physical activity boosts resistance to aging and mental decline. One study, published Jan. 10, 2017 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that among 1,600 adults aged 65 and older, those who

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Get Plenty of These Vitamins to Boost Memory

Study after study has provided evidence of the importance of vitamins in ensuring mental acuity, especially in older adults who may be affected by physiological changes that impair the body’s ability to metabolize these nutrients. A deficiency of certain key vitamins has been linked to cognitive decline in older people,

Risk Factors for Alcohol-Induced Dementia

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Risk Factors for Alcohol-Induced Dementia

Up to 17 percent of Americans age 60 and over (3 million people) have serious alcohol problems, and the number is climbing as the baby-boom generation reaches its 60s. Already, statistics indicate that more seniors are admitted to hospitals for alcohol-related medical problems than are admitted for heart attacks. Both

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For a Sharp Brain, Protect Your Senses

The overwhelming majority of older Americans are likely to experience a decline in at least one of their senses over the years, according to a new study—and many have problems in multiple sensory areas. And because the earlier sensory changes are recognized and treated, the better individuals are able to